Monday, May 6, 2013

Yesterday - Happy and a Bit Sad

Yesterday was May fifth, Cinco de Mayo and it was also my son's 27th birthday. We were not able to spend the day together since he is studying for his PhD and living out of state. I was a bit sad we couldn't be together but it is actually pretty normal for us. In the past 6 years I think we were only together once. We have come to celebrate his special day when he is away with a text, a facebook post and gift sent by snail mail. Happy Birthday Matt!

Yesterday was also a big day for my son's girlfriend, Amanda.  She was graduating Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University. The ceremony was held in the arena but from the photos I saw it was a wonderful event. I'm sorry we missed the festivities. Congratulations Amanda.

Yesterday was The 7th Annual Teal Tea. The Teal Tea Foundation's mission is to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer and to support research into an early detection test. Since moving to Mercer county I have become involved with the Teal Tea Foundation and in the past I was a  table captain. This year I attended and sat at a dear friend and fellow survivor's table.The theme was Under the Sea and our table was decorated with teal jelly fish.The table captain and decorators won two prizes for the beautiful design. I was so happy to be able to attend and support this wonderful foundation and see so many fellow survivors, caregivers and supporters .

Part of the Teal Tea's  program this year involved remembering four women who were supporters of the Teal Tea who lost their lives this year to gynecologic cancers.

Ann, Pam, Shirley and Rita Kay 

They were also members of the support group at CINJ that I attend and I have written about them and the group in the past. ( It Never Is Easy,  A Friendship Ended Too Soon, One Less Women of Teal - Rita Kay ). This is where the sadness came in to my day.

The first speaker was Ann's husband.  He spoke as photos of Ann and our support group flashed on the large screen behind him. Toward the end of her life when Ann was in a wheelchair Don would drive her and then sit in the waiting area reading. He recalled how he did not hear angry voices or crying but rather laughing and cheering. He told us how much the group helped Ann. I could feel myself getting upset and my eyes started to tear up. But then he read through the list of things that should remind us of  Ann. One of those things was seeing a grey heron. Well, the tears flowed freely as I thought about the grey heron I saw by the pond that morning and he was right I had instantly thought of Ann.

I met Shirley's daughter and granddaughter for the first time yesterday and I felt like I was in Shirley's presence once again. Love and respect were very important to Shirley as was her Faith. Shirley frequently spoke of her Faith with the group and how it helped her face so many tests and trials. When Shirley's daughter spoke she described her mom's love of her family and especially her grandchildren. And when I closed my eyes I could imagine Shirley back in the room and again my eyes teared up.

Then our social worker and the moderator of our group Julie was invited up to speak about Rita Kay. She described Rita Kay's work and wonderful sense of humor as well as her interest in sports and travel. But when she spoke of her being one of the initial group members ( like I am) and mentioned the signature neon green Crocks that she wore to almost every meeting the tears once again flowed freely. Sitting next to me was my gyn-onc. She rubbed my shoulder and asked if I was ok.  I turned to her and said " Not really but I will be". I took a few deep breaths- said my mantra ( With God all things are possible. ) and slowly looked up wiping away my tears. Julie ended her talk with what I and many of the women in the group have told her.  It is painful to loose so many friends to cancer but we would rather have the relationships we built at group then to have never known these women at all.

And she is 100% right about that.

Every day is a Blessing!

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